Hey Everyone! With the holidays coming around, I’ve been loving baking and photographing even more! Even though I’m Muslim and we don’t celebrate Christmas, I still enjoy watching everyone decorate their trees and all the lights around the city. Gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Anyways, I’ve made a few different things that I’m still working on to perfect the recipe for you guys. This Italian Cream Cake was one of those recipes that was perfect after my second trial.
I made it a few days ago and loved it! However after I had a bunch of people taste it, and after my third slice, I started to nitpick all the things that I needed to adjust. The cake itself is super spongy because you whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. However sometimes that yields a drier cake. So the second time I made it I added a can of crushed pineapple and put buttermilk instead of normal milk. It made a huge difference. The first time I made my frosting wayyyyyy too sweet. I like the frosting sweet, but I enjoy the cream cheese tang in it as well. The second time around I played around with the frosting I use on my Red Velvet Cake Bites. Last but not least, I didn’t refrigerate the cake. I have always had this cake refrigerated but I felt like it dried it out. So when I made it the second time I didn’t refrigerate it. I thought it was phenomenal. However, I might refrigerate a piece to see how it does with the new additions. I’ll update you guys on the results.
This cake is fairly easy to make. There are a few things you want to be aware of so you get a result like mine. I bake the cake in three 9 inch round pans. You can mess around with how you bake it, but I have found that it bakes perfectly this way and looks very presentable as well. Make sure to spray your pans well so you don’t lose some cake to the pan. Another thing I find critical to this cake is the color of the baking pan. I bake in a light metal pan so 350 F is great. If your pans are darker, drop the oven temperature to 325 F so your cakes don’t scorch. Once the cake comes out of the oven, allow them to cool for five minutes. After that flip them onto a cooling rack and let them cool till they’re no longer warm.
When it comes time to make the frosting make sure you’re using softened butter and cream cheese. It makes a huge difference in the texture. This is one of those recipes that I don’t recommend softening the butter by zapping it in the microwave. I’ve tried with this frosting, and I promise you that you will not get the same airy light frosting if you do.
Another very important aspect of this cake is whipping your egg whites to stiff peaks without drying them out. I use the same method as the one in my Tres Leches Cake. This video is very helpful in explaining how to whip your egg whites correctly. It’s a very critical part! I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or respond to one of my social media accounts.
Italian Cream Cake
- 1/2 Cup Softened Butter
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
- 2 Cups Sugar (1/4 Cup set aside for egg whites)
- 6 Eggs (Separated)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 TBSP Baking Powder
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
- 1 8 oz Can Crushed Pineapple (Semi Drained)
- 1/2 Cup Softened Butter
- 16 oz Softened Cream Cheese
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
- 1 Cup Toasted Sweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 F and Butter and flour three 9 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- Step 2 Cream 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening, and 1 3/4 cups sugar. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Beat well.
- Step 3 Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding it to the butter and sugar mixture with the buttermilk. Only mix until combined.
- Step 4 Add the crushed pineapple, pecans and coconut. Mix and set aside.
- Step 5 In a metal bowl whip your egg whites till frothy. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Step 6 In three batches, fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter. Divide among pans evenly.
- Step 7 Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Step 8 Allow the cakes to cool for five minutes and the jiggle loose and flip onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
- Step 9 Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the softened butter and cream cheese on high for five minutes. Add vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Mix in, then beat on high for 2 minutes. Mix in chopped pecans.
- Step 10 Toast the coconut by spreading on a sheet tray and baking at 350 F for about 5 minutes. Watch it very closely and mix it midway through. You want to have some white, and some golden brown.
- Step 11 TO LAYER: Dab a little frosting into the center of the cake plate and place the first layer of cake. Spread a little less than 1/3 of the frosting. Place the second layer of cake. Spread more frosting. Add the third layer.
- Step 12 After the layers are done you want to ice the cake. I like to dollop a lot of frosting on the top but barely cover the sides of the cake. The only reason I frost the sides is for the coconut to stick.
- Step 13 Use the toasted coconut on the sides of the cake and sprinkle the pecans on top. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 1 week. Enjoy!